Anger over noise from Berendsen’s laundry in Fakenham

The Berendsen plant, at Fakenham. Picture: Chris Bishop

The Berendsen plant, at Fakenham. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Noise from a Fakenham laundry has become 'intolerable' since it underwent a £2.4m extension, claim neighbours.

People living around the site, off the town's Holt Road, say they are being disturbed by noisy 'chimneys' which act as vents for industrial-sized driers, and the drone of machinery.

Neighbours have also complained about being woken by lorries and staff talking over the tannoy system in the early hours.

North Norfolk council said it was working with the company to resolve the issues.

In a statement, the firm said: 'Berendsen has worked directly and closely with the local council representatives and have completed numerous actions to ensure that the noise levels generated by the site are legally compliant.'

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Linda Benjafield, who has lived at the corner of Norwich Road and Westmead Road for 14 years, said increased noise from the site was interfering with her enjoyment of her home and garden.

She said new vents installed at the plant last year often began operating at 6am, while noise at night disturbed her sleep.

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'The noise can sometimes go on well past midnight into the early hours,' she said.

Neighbours complained to environmental health officers in August. Victoria Vincent, who has lived in Westmead Road since 2006, wrote: 'When I first moved into the road the laundry was not open 24/7 and you could have your windows open or sit in the garden at night without the added noise.

'My main concern is that if nothing is done the noise level will just keep increasing and it will make it unbearable to live there, with no prospect of being able to sell my property.'

Fellow resident James Douglas wrote: 'There is now a far larger fleet of lorries, the physical size of the laundry has grown exponentially, the smell of chemicals and noise from the laundry has also grown with its expansion.'

Angie Fitch-Tillett, North Norfolk council's cabinet member for environmental services said: 'We have been investigating a complaint about noise nuisance and working with the company to resolve the issues for a number of months.

'We have a duty to ensure residents and neighbours do not suffer from any noise nuisance and as a result of the council's actions noise overnight has reduced and we are hopeful that the issue with excessive daytime noise can be resolved shortly.'

Berendsen said it was 'aware of concerns in respect of noise' but had 'completed numerous actions to ensure that the noise levels generated by the site were legally compliant'.

It said an independent consultant had confirmed its compliance and was reviewing ways to further reduce noise levels at the site.

It added: 'Berendsen can confirm that there is no current issues or conflict with local planning regulations for any aspect of our site.'

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